In modern society, the connotation of love has been degraded to one’s feelings of lust rather than the true meaning of love. It is as though a couple is only content when each person is receiving something from the relationship. When the physical actions have departed, the relationship no longer has any real significance to the couple. It is not based on the true happiness of either partner, but only on selfishly obtaining for their own pleasure.

Father Glenn Kohrman, pastor of St. Mary of the Lake parish in Culver, Indiana, stated, “Many people love things and use people.”

This statement demonstrates how backward society is today. People should not be used as objects; they should be cherished and treated with the utmost respect, especially while involved in a relationship with the opposite sex. Even in marriage, it is wrong for a husband to lust after his wife. A husband is supposed to love his wife so deeply that his love for her is greater than his love for himself. True love is not based on lust, but rather on wanting the best for the other’s soul. In order to return to the true meaning of love, one may consider looking to Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, which is translated from Latin to mean “God is love.”

In Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, he uses three of the four Greek translations of love: philia, eros, sixtus, and agape. Each translation encompasses its own explanation of what that realm of love is and how humans experience it.

Philia is the love family members experience. It is the love a sister has for her brother or a father for his daughter. This love comes very easily and naturally. The familiarity of the family allows each member to come to know and love one another easily.

Eros is a passionate, romantic, erotic love, and it contains the feeling of “being in love.” Eros begins with the physical beauty, but enters into a more intimate love that enables one to look deeper into the beauty within the other person.Pope Benedict XVI explained, “That love between man and woman that is neither planned nor willed but somehow imposes itself upon human beings was called eros by the ancient Greeks.”

Sixtus is love for the physical aspects of life. It is love that allows a man and a woman to have a physical attraction for each other. It makes each person have the desire to procreate. This love is to be saved for marriage between a man and a woman. In no instance is it acceptable outside of the sacrament of matrimony. When one enters into it outside of marriage, it becomes very harmful to the relationship and mortally sinful.

Agape love is a selfless love. It is the love a husband feels for his wife. It is a very powerful love that calls for one to give their life to allow the other to experience the greatest joy possible. Agape is the love that would lay down one’s life for the other.

When turning back to the true meaning of love, one must remember not to take one of these loves and place it before another. For society to change its outlook on love, it must realize first the definition love has been given is wrong. It must turn the definition of love from lust back to the true meaning of love.

The Waynedale News Staff
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